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August 24, 2015

Allegations That Israel Is Behind ISIS Emerge On Al Jazeera

al-jazeera

Screenshot of the article as it appeared on the Al Jazeera website

Conspiratorial accusations that Israel and the Jews secretly create terrorist organizations are not uncommon in the Arab world. However, an article published by Al Jazeera on August 19, 2015, which claimed, “Israel is behind ISIS” is still shocking considering the news outlet’s international reputation.

The article, which was published on and eventually removed from the Al Jazeera Arabic website, is based on reports by the British Daily Mail and other Western media outlets about a questionable document found in one of the tribal areas of Pakistan, which suggests the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was a response to Israel.

Unlike the original report in the English language media, Al Jazeera’s Arabic’s article misleads readers to believe that Israel had a role in the actual creation of ISIS.

“A British Newspaper reported that the American Media Institute found a classified document in one of the rural tribal areas in Pakistan indicating that Israel is behind the emergence of the Islamic State,”   according to the first paragraph of the report by Al Jazeera.

Soon after publishing the report, supporters of ISIS on Twitter launched a campaign against Al Jazeera with an Arabic hashtag “Supporters of the Islamic State expose Al Jazeera.” Several comments attacked Al Jazeera for misrepresenting the original report and for connecting ISIS to Israel.

While there is no evidence that Al Jazeera removed the article because of criticism from ISIS supporters, the implication of publishing such an article and then removing it without addressing the errors may reinforce its conspiratorial narrative.

In the past, ADL expressed concern over the promotion of conspiracy theories in some countries in the Muslim world connecting Jews to the creation and activity of the terror group ISIS.

See related ADL blog posts about the topic:

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November 4, 2014

Islamic University Of Gaza Conference Promotes Anti-Semitism

A two-day international conference at the Islamic University of Gaza titled “Future of the Zionist-Islamic conflict in Palestine” included blatant expressions of anti-Semitism.islamic-university-gaza

While very few details about the conference are available, one of the panels, according to the University’s website, was called “The future of the Zionist-Muslim conflict in light of ‘TheProtocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.’”

An Al Jazeera report on the conference, which concluded on Sunday, quoted one of the participants, Professor Riyadh Qassim, from the Islamic University in Gaza as saying that the defeat the Jews and the demise of the Zionist entity is a divine promise. Professor Qassim also reportedly listed 12 characteristics of “the Jewish personality” such as “absolute blasphemy in faith, thirst for blood shedding, treachery, violating treaties, manipulation, corruption on earth, and racial superiority.” Such qualities, according to Professor Qassim, will lead to the defeat of the Jews and a victory for Muslims.

The University’s website also indicated that 23 research papers were submitted to the conference by scholars from around the world. The research papers reportedly propagated an Islamist perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to support the prediction of an Islamic victory over the Jews.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who spoke at the opening session of the conference, expressed his pride in Moataz Hijazi, the Palestinian gunman suspected of the failed targeted terrorist assassination attempt of a Jewish man in Jerusalem last week.

The Islamic University of Gaza was founded by Hamas and includes various schools such as Medicine, Engineering and Islamic law. The University was targeted by Israel in August of 2014 because, according to a spokesperson for the Israeli army, the University “was a Hamas Qassam rocket manufacturing facility, an outpost, a center for weapons research and development, and a Hamas storage facility.”

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May 13, 2014

Al Jazeera Forum For Young Journalists Tainted By Anti-Semitic Article

Al Jazeera Talk, an Arabic-language website launched in 2006 to provide young Arab journalists with a vehicle to showcase their work, published the first in a series of articles today by Iraqi journalist, Taha Al-Ani, on the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.al-jazeera-talk-taha-al-ani

In his article, Al-Ani says that he hopes his report on Al Jazeera Talk can “establish an educational ground to our communities to realize the great Jewish threat…”

“…the learned elders of Zion,” Al-Ani writes, seek to “rule the world with tyranny and to spread corruption and immorality.” He also adds:

If threat is considered, the Jews are the biggest threat, if hate is considered, the Jews are the most hateful, if malice is considered, the Jews are the most malicious. If trickery and cunning are considered, the Jews are the best of them! Consider whichever you wish to think about, and you will see that the Jews are the most dangerous nation.

Al Jazeera Talk in Arabic describes itself on its official Facebook page as a vehicle for the younger generation of Arab journalists to receive exposure. It also stresses that such exposure is achieved through “a global forum united by higher humanitarian values to extend bridges of dialog.”

While the website seems to function independently from the Al Jazeera Network, it does have its own terms of services that say, in part, “Any material including defamation, insult or accusation to any person, religion or race will be rejected.”

It is unfortunate that Al Jazeera Talk has allowed such anti-Semitism to taint its efforts to engage younger journalists and audiences through this medium. The article is a dangerous reminder of how some journalists in the Arab world continue to promote anti-Semitism to the younger generations.

According to the Anti-Defamation League’s worldwide survey of anti-Semitic attitudes, The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism, the highest concentration of respondents holding anti-Semitic attitudes was found in Middle East and North African countries (“MENA”), where nearly three-quarters of respondents, 74 percent of those polled, agreed with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that comprise the 11-question index.

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